Emergency officials urge everyone to prepare for disasters

Emergency officials urge everyone to prepare for disasters
Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 at 5:35 PM CDT
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LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- It's National Preparedness Month and the Red Cross and Lawton Police are encouraging residents to have a plan in place for emergencies and disasters.

"Here in Southwest Oklahoma we have the ice storms, we have our spring severe weather season, we get those flash flooding events," said Kim O'Brien, Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist. "It's important to prepare ahead of time."

September is peak season for floods and hurricanes and O'Brien said typically that's when they see an increase in people needing shelter.

"Whether it is something small like a home fire to something catastrophic such as a flood or tornado, people tend to get complacent in their everyday lives," she said.

She said it's imperative not to wait until the last minute to react, but instead, prepare by making an emergency kit with food, water, blankets and important documents.

Sergeant Timothy Jenkins with the Lawton Police Department said some situations should be a no-brainer.

"If they see flood somewhere, a lot of water in certain areas, don't go that way," said Jenkins. "Turn around, take a different alternate route."

He reminds drivers to be cautious of the roads to avoid accidents.

"A lot of it is vehicle single accidents, where they're getting stuck or hitting curbs and things like that because they are not able to see certain areas and things like that because the water is so high," he said.

As for O'Brien, she said the best way to ensure safety is to prepare ahead of time.

"To make sure that person has the most critical information to survival, it makes you think that you're saving a life, potentially saving a life without even know it at the time," said O'Brien.

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